Seduction Meals is about food + romance and the premise that everyone should learn to master one dish that is their signature dish—a Seduction Meal, to enchant and captivate that special someone in your life...
This tasty flatbread will be light-textured,
golden, and about 1/2" tall. Crisp when it comes out of the oven and it
becomes chewier as it cools.With its roughly dimpled surface and craggy interior, focaccia is perfect for open faced sandwiches, dipping in flavored olive oils and/or various dips. This focaccia recipe lends itself beautifully to stuffing, either savory or
sweet. Here are three variations: one for a basic focaccia, one for a savory cheese version, and one for
a sweet breakfast treat featuring golden raisins.
Golden Focaccia Recipes Courtesy of King Arthur Flour
1/2 cup cool water
1/16 teaspoon instant or active dry yeast
1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose
2 teaspoons instant yeast or 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water*
all of the starter (above)
2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
*Use 1 tablespoon less in summer (or in a humid environment), 1 tablespoon more in winter (or in a dry climate).
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt
To make the starter: Mix the water and 1/16 teaspoon yeast, then add the flour, stirring till the flour is incorporated. The starter will be paste-like; it won't form a ball.
Cover and let rest at room temperature for about 14 hours; the starter will be bubbly. If you make this in the late afternoon, it'll be ready to go by the next morning.
To make the dough: If you're using active dry yeast, dissolve it with a pinch of sugar in 2 tablespoons of the lukewarm water. Let the yeast and water sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, until the mixture has bubbled and expanded. If you're using instant yeast, you can skip this step.
Combine the dissolved yeast (or instant yeast) with the remaining dough ingredients, and mix and knead--by hand, mixer, or bread machine set on the dough cycle--to make a soft, smooth dough. If you're kneading in a stand mixer, it should take about 7 minutes at second speed.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise for 1 hour.
Gently deflate it, and allow it to rise for another hour; it should have doubled in bulk from its original volume.
Lightly grease an 18" x 13" baking sheet with a rim (or two 9" x 13" pans) with non-stick vegetable oil spray. Drizzle olive oil atop the spray; the spray keeps the bread from sticking, while the olive oil gives the bottom crust great crunch and flavor.
If you're using the baking sheet, gently pull and shape the dough into a rough rectangle, and pat it into the pan. As soon as it begins to fight you and shrink back, stop patting. If you're using two 9" x 13" pans, divide the dough in half, shape each half into a rough rectangle, and pat one piece into each pan. When the pieces start to shrink back, stop patting. Wait 15 minutes; pat the dough farther towards the edges of the pan(s). Repeat once more, if necessary, till the dough is close to covering the bottom of the pan(s).
Cover the pan, and allow the dough to rise till it's very puffy, almost billowy. This will take about 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.
Gently dimple the dough at irregular intervals with your fingers, pressing down firmly, but not abruptly; you don't want to deflate it too much.
Spritz heavily with warm water, and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil (or enough to collect a bit in the dimples), then sprinkle with rosemary (or the herb of your choice), black pepper, and a bit of coarse salt, to taste.
Bake the focaccia for about 10 minutes. Reverse the pan(s) in the oven (top pan on the bottom, bottom pan on the top), and bake until the focaccia is light golden brown, about another 10 minutes. Remove it from the oven, and immediately turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool.
Variations: The directions below call for you to divide the dough in half and bake it in two 9" x 13" pans. If you prefer, don't divide the dough, and bake it in an 18" x 13" pan.
Prepare the focaccia dough as directed above, dividing it in half.
Shape the two pieces of dough into rough 12" x 8" rectangles, and lay them down on a lightly greased work surface.
Spread each piece of dough with 2/3 cup crumbled or diced cheese of your choice, leaving about 1" bare all around the edges.
Fold two opposite edges into the center, like you're folding a letter; then fold the two ends into the center, again like a letter. You will have made a filled square. Gently press to flatten.
Place the filled breads into the prepared pans, and gently flatten them some more. Wait 15 minutes, and flatten again, pressing them as flat as you can without exposing the filling; you should be able to press this soft dough almost to the corners of the pan.
Allow the focaccia to rise, covered, for about 3 hours. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 400°F.
Just before baking, spritz the focaccia heavily with warm water.
Drizzle it with olive oil (enough to collect a bit in the dimples), then sprinkle with rosemary (or the herb of your choice), black pepper, and a tiny bit of coarse salt.
Bake as directed in the original recipe.
Sweet Breakfast Focaccia
Prepare the focaccia dough as directed above.
Spray two 9" x 13" pans with non-stick vegetable oil spray, but don't drizzle with olive oil.
Once you've used your hands to shape the two pieces of dough into rough 12" x 8" rectangles, lay them down on a lightly greased work surface.
Spread each piece of dough with 2/3 cup golden raisins, leaving about 1" bare all around the edges.
Fold two opposite edges into the center, like you're folding a letter; then fold the two ends into the center, again like a letter. You will have made a raisin-filled square. Gently press to flatten.
Place the raisin-filled focaccias into the prepared pans, and gently flatten them some more. Wait 15 minutes, and flatten again, pressing them as flat as you can without exposing the raisins; you should be able to press this soft dough almost to the corners of the pan.
Allow the focaccia to rise, covered, for about 3 hours. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 400°F.
Just before baking, spritz the focaccia heavily with warm water, and sprinkle with 1/2 cup (1/4 cup on each focaccia) coarse sparkling sugar, demerara sugar, or a combination
Kirsty MacColl / Tropic Brainstorm ...Love this Song. My favorite Kirsty tune. So Sexy!
Amazon.com "This is the Fifth album from pop chanteuse and daughter of folksinger Ewan
Maccoll. You might not know her name but you've heard her voice before. As a
backup singer she's appeared on albums by The Pogues, Billy Bragg,
Talking Heads, Simple Minds and Robert Plant.
I know an island where the people are kind And the rest of the
world seems far away Maybe it's only in the back of my mind But I
know when I go that's where I'll stay
One could not wish a better end
result for the late Kirsty MacColl, whose last album opens with this
prediction. Tropical Brainstorm serves as a sunny and joyous
bookend on a career cut tragically short. Musically, it is a bit of a
departure, favoring vibrant Latin-flavored flourishes over the slightly
darker jangle of earlier material. There is, however, no mistaking the
album's creator from a lyrical perspective. "Treachery" giddily turns
the star-fan scenario on its head, imagining MacColl stalking a fan who
has abandoned her for the musical flavor of the month. MacColl always held a
singular place in Anglo-pop. She was equal parts Morrissey
as a less self-obsessed heterosexual woman and Flannery O'Connor as
pop star. In other words, unique, and an incredibly precious resource
for music to lose". --Bob Michaels
Now that's a Seduction Meal!! You can almost taste the magnificence of this recipe by its title alone!
In the previous post I shared a recipe that I stumbled upon for Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese & Chili Poblano Soup. The recipe was created by Chef Dean Fearing of Fearing's Restaurant at the Ritz Carlton in Dallas Texas. I was intrigued so I did a little research on Chef Fearing; his background, the restaurant and his recipes. What a delicious array of culinary delights! I cannot wait to visit his restaurant in Dallas--and wouldn't it be great to meet him as well. Take a look at his website and you might understand why I hear Carly Simon softly singing:
Nobody does it better
Makes me feel sad for the rest
Nobody does it half as good as you
Baby, you're the best
Maple Black Peppercorn Filet Mignon on Anson Mills Jalapeno Grits and Chili Aoili Dean Fearing, Fearing's Restaurant (Dalls, TX) Serves 4
1 cup Maple Syrup
2 tablespoons Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
2 cloves Garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 large Shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon Fresh Sage, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Fresh Thyme, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
2 pounds Beef Filet trimmed of all fat and silver skin, center-cut
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
Jalapeno Grits, see recipe
Chili Aioli, see recipe
4 sprigs fresh cilantro
Directions for the Steak:
In a small bowl, combine maple, black pepper, garlic, shallot, sage, thyme and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine and pour over the beef filets. Allow the beef filets to soak in this liquid for a minimum of 24 hours. Remove the beef filet from the maple mixture and cut into 8 ounce filets.
Season each filet with salt.
Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, lay beef filets in skillet and brown for 5 minutes. Turn and brown for an additional 3-5 minutes or until desired degree of doneness is reached.
On 4 warm plates, place evenly, ¼ cup Jalapeno Grits in the center of the plate, the steak, and a tablespoon of Smoked Chili Aioli.
The Jalapeno Grits
2 ½ cups Chicken Stock
1 cup (6 ounces) Anson Mills Antebellum Coarse White or Yellow Grits 1 to 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 each Yellow Onion, minced
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme, chopped
1 Cup Jalapeno Jack Cheese, grated
½ Teaspoon Paprika
½ Teaspoon Tabasco Sauce
Salt and Pepper
In a medium size, heavy bottom sauce pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Sprinkle, or rain in, the grits to the boiling chicken stock a handful at a time. Stir the grits occasionally as they cook. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook the grits about 30 minutes, until they are thickened and soft in texture
Smoked Chili Aioli
1 large Egg Yolk
5 cloves smoked Garlic
1 each smoked Red Bell Pepper, seeds removed
2 each smoked shallots, minced
2 anchovy filets
2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
2 teaspoons Sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
3/4 cup Grapeseed Oil
3/4 cup Olive Oil
2 Red Jalapenos, roasted and chopped
1 tablespoon Cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons Lime Juice
Salt to taste
In blender, combine egg yolks, garlic, red bell pepper, shallots, anchovies, Worcestershire, Tabasco, and sherry vinegar. Puree until smooth. Slowly add oil until dressing is emulsified and creamy. Add chopped jalapenos, cilantro, lime juice and salt to taste.
Reading through a couple of online articles about cheese, I discovered this recipe for Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese And Poblano Chili Soup by chef Dean Fearing. Yummy! Dean Fearing, creating of Fearing's Restaurant in Dallas, Texas, has developed one of the hottest dining concepts in the country. Named "Restaurant of the Year" and "Table of the Year" by Esquire Magazine in 2007 and No. 1 in Hotel Dining in the U.S. by Zagat in 2009, you can see why I am eager to try this recipe. I bookmarked it and look forward to trying this soon, but just incase you beat me to it, please let me know what you think.
Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese And Poblano Chili Soup By Chef Dean Fearing Servings: 4
1 tablespoon bacon fat
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 large shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 jalapeño chili, seeded, chopped
1 teaspoon pure chili powder
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh epazote or 1/2 teaspoon dried, optional
Pinch of ground cumin seed
1/2 cup beer
4 cups chicken broth, homemade or prepared
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 small poblano chilies, roasted, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice OR 1 cup canned green chiles (mild or hot or mixed)
Heat bacon fat in large sauce or soup pan over medium heat. Add onion, shallots, garlic, jalapeño and chili powder. Sauté 2 minutes or until soft. Add cilantro, epazote, cumin and beer. Bring to a boil. Boil 5 minutes or until liquid has reduced by half. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Knead butter and flour together until a paste forms. Slowly whisk into boiling soup, mixing until smooth. Lower heat and simmer, uncovered, about 40 minutes.
Remove soup from heat and immediately stir in cheese. Pour into blender by batches and blend until smooth. Add chiles. Season with salt and lime juice. Pour into soup bowls and serve immediately.
This Rosemary Chicken dish is made with chicken breasts spiked with garlic cloves, lightly coated with mustard and then simmered in rosemary spiked wine (or sherry). I serve this with sauteed Portobello mushrooms and mashed potatoes. It is packed with flavor, super easy to prepare, and will fill your kitchen with an enticing aroma that will have your guest asking what time dinner will be served.
Start your Seduction Meal with a refreshing Parisian Cosmopolitan
1 ½ oz CHAMBORD Flavored Vodka ½ oz Sour 2 oz Cranberry Juice Shake with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Sauteed Portobello Mushroom andRosemary Chicken for Two
Note: I did not include the recipe for mashed potatoes, so be sure to include this in your cooking routine so all three items are done at the same time: Chicken, sauteed mushrooms and mashed potatoes.
2 chicken breasts
2 cloves of garlic, cut in 1/8" slices
1 Tablespoons of mustard
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/4 cup white wine or sherry
1/2 onion, chopped
4 Tablespoons. of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 medium portobello mushroom caps, cut in 1/4" slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon of sweet butter
salt and pepper to taste
Cut small slits in chicken breasts. Insert garlic slices into the slits.
Rub each breast with mustard, add salt and pepper to taste
Heat a dry skillet for approximately 2-3 minutes over high heat.
Place breasts in skillet and brown on both sides. At first the chicken will stick, but as the juices are released (about 3-4 minutes) you will be able to turn the chicken over to cook the other side.
Remove chicken from pan.
Pour white wine into pan and reduce heat to medium-high
Add onion and rosemary and cook until onion is translucent.
Add chicken to skillet and cover tightly. Reduce heat and cook for 10-15 minutes.
While chicken is cooking, prepare the mushrooms. In a skillet add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of sweet butter, when skillet is hot add portabello mushroom slices and cook over medium-high heat for 15 minutes until mushrooms are golden brown, stirring often. Halfway through, when the oil/butter has been completely absorbed, add you can add a few tablespoons of wine or sherry and cook until all liquid has been absorbed.
Plating the Dish
Serve with Mashed Potatoes, placing 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes in the center of the plate. Press down with a spatula to flatten top.
Please chicken breast over the potatoes and garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary.
Add the mushrooms to the plate, salt and pepper to taste.
Homemade salad dressing is so much better than bottled dressings. It is healthier--no excess sodium and preservatives; and the taste is simply superior. I found one tool that ensures a successful dressing--a wire whisk. I am fond of the Kuhn Rikon Whisk-in-a_Cruet. It contains a steel wire whisking ball in a vase container that completely mixes and emulsifies the dressing. This can also be used for marinades, drinks and cocktails. Below are a few Salad Recipes to get you started:
A Romantic Meal for two should be all about surprise and delight, and Shaun Hergatt has mastered this with an array of beautifully crafted dishes that will take your breath away. Walking through this restaurant you can't help but look at each tempting dish as it passes by; meticulously and creatively constructed, each dish is head turner.
Chef Shaun Hergatt's impeccably executed menu of Asian-accented Modern French cuisine at SHO has made him the recipient of a coveted Michelin star two years running.
Since opening SHO in June 2009, ChefHergatt has won a myriad of awards including a "Best New Chef" accolade from New York magazine, "Best New Restaurant" accolades from both Esquire and New York magazines, and 29 out of 30 ratings across the board from Zagat Survey.
As the young Chef de Cuisine of The Dining Room at The Ritz-Carlton, Sydney, he quickly earned international accolades including Best Young Chef award (2000) and the restaurant was named "Top 5 Up and Coming Restaurants in the World" by Condé Nast Traveler.
He subsequently worked at Atelier which earned a 3 Star rating from New York Times and went on to become the Executive Chef at The Setai in Miami, which was awarded "Esquire's Best New Restaurant"(2005) before returning to New York to open his first eponymous restaurant located in the heart of the Financial District.
Located in the heart of the Financial District, SHO Shaun Hergatt invigorates one of Manhattan's last uncharted restaurant frontiers. With its sleek design and seamless hospitality, SHO Shaun Hergatt transforms the neighborhood's dining identity with a restaurant unlike anything Wall Street has seen.
For reservations call 212.809.3993 Alternatively you can make your reservation online at: www.opentable.com
Chicken Parmesan, is for many in America, the first Italian dish experienced outside of pasta. It tastes great and is very easy to prepare: breaded chicken cutlets, tomato sauce, mozzerella cheese and parmesan cheese. Serve with your favorite pasta, garlic bread, a mixed green salad, and a bottle of Tiziano Chianti.
This recipe calls for the "King of Italian Cheese", Parmigiano-Reggiano. It is a hard granular cheese that is cooked, not pressed. Parmigiano-Reggiano. is named after the producing areas near Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, and Bologna (all in Emilia-Romagna), and Mantova (in Lombardia), Italy. Under Italian law only cheese produced in these provinces may be labelled "Parmigiano-Reggiano", while European law classifies the name as a protected designation of origin.The same cheese manufactured elsewhere is referred to as Parmesan. (wikipedia) .
Chicken Parmigiano Serves Two
Two boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
1/4 cup egg starter
1/2 cup milk
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
2-3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 12-oz bag shredded mozzarella cheese
1 jar marinara sauce
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
Place bread crumbs on a dinner plate
Whisk together egg and milk
Dip the chicken breasts in milk and egg mixture and then in bread crumbs
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken in the hot oil on both sides until golden, about 3 - 4 minutes on each side. Set chicken in an 8 x 8 baking dish.
Place 3-4 tablespoons of mozzarella cheese on each chicken breast.
Pour marinara sauce overall. Sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and a little more mozzarella cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
For chocolate lovers the world over, I present three luxurious chocolate creations: Drunken Chocolate Figs (my favorite!), Chocolate Covered Cherries, and Spiced Pumpkin bon bons. Each hand-crafted chocolate is made with fresh, natural and oftentimes locally procured ingredients. I recently tried all three and have to say they are all pretty great--each boasting a unique flavor like no other.
This is no cherry cordial . . . John and Kira's pairs a naturally dried, deep-red tart cherry with a decadent 62% Valrhona dark chocolate ganache spiked with a hint of brandy. All three flavors, cherry, dark chocolate and brandy, come together to make one exquisitely well rounded bite.
Nothing says Thanksgiving like delicate pumpkins. These delightful confections are filled with a Pumpkin Pie Caramel, a blend of real pumpkin, sugar, and all of your favorite spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, and orange zest. Each one is finished by hand with its own unique stem.
This is my ALL Time FAVORITE. I discovered this divine chocolate morsel a couple of years ago at the Chocolate Show in NYC. With one bite the words flowed out...WOW! Just incredible.
Noted for their extremely thin skins and sweet taste, each Spanish chocolate fig is filled by hand with a silky dark 64% Valrhona whiskey ganache then dipped in a thin layer of dark 64% chocolate. Need I say more??? The Calabacita variety of fig is grown by a family owned company in "Los Llanillos" in the village of Almoharin located in the Extremadura region of Spain.
Based out of Philadelphia, PA, John & Kira's is a socially innovative chocolate company dedicated to both making and selling world class confections and promoting positive social change. Their signature line of chocolate ganache squares features ingredients from sustainable artisan food growers local to their Philadelphia chocolate studio, across the country and around the world. Their gourmet, artisan chocolates are hand-craftedbeautifully gift-boxed for your holiday gift giving, birthdays, wedding favors, and business gifts. Treat yourself to something incredible, and when you can, let us know which is YOUR favorite.